Saturday, August 29, 2009

Maria de Buenos Aires - Girona, Spain

Piazzolla's operita, Maria de Buenos Aires, was not a big hit when it was introduced in 1968 at the Sala Planeta in Buenos Aires. Reviews from the time, quoted in the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, suggest that the audience expected an opera and got an oratorio where the singers, musicians and choir remained in place on the stage. Most subsequent performances are much more elaborately staged with dancers, multiple scene changes and special effects. Today's featured performance returns to the original oratorio-like format.

But more important than the format is that this performance must represent a true labor of love. It was put on by students, alumni and faculty of the Conservatorio de Música in Girona, Spain under the direction of Jorgelina Giordano. Anyone who has been involved in such a production knows this is a massive effort. The result is successful and the young people involved have a created for themselves a memory which I believe they will treasure in later life. Hopefully, they have become fans of Piazzolla's music.

The full performance is captured in 15 videos. Rodolfo Jäger, the male lead in the production and Guillermo Gomez Alvareza, the guitarist in the production perform together as Tanghoyde. They have posted all 15 videos on their YouTube channel. I have chosen to feature Tangus Dei below simply because you see the entire ensemble there. If you are interested in seeing more, I suggest you view Fuga y misterio which highlights the instrumentalists, Tema de Maria which features an unnamed but excellent singer as Maria, and Alevare, which features Jäger.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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